London 2012 - Danes to face Spain in Euro semis

Wed, 25 Jan 21:05:00 2012

Denmark grabbed the last remaining semi-final berth in the European Handball Championship and booked a clash with Spain after beating Scandinavian rivals Sweden 31-24 on Wednesday.

Denmark players celebrate after defeating Sweden in their Men's European Handball Championship main round group 1 match - 0

Hosts Serbia will meet bitter Balkan rivals Croatia after both teams advanced into the last four with a match to spare, having beaten their rivals in the Main Round earlier this week.

Denmark, the runners-up in last year's World Championship, had made a poor start in the 16-nation tournament when they lost two of their three Preliminary Round group matches.

But they won all three games in the second group stage and their coach Ulrik Wilbek was confident they could emulate their 2008 success, when they won the title in Norway.

"We will remain as humble as ever because we were a little bit lucky with other results going our way, but with plenty of faith in our abilities too after improving in the Main Round and playing in line with our potential," Wilbek said.

Left back Bo Spellerberg added: "Spain will remember we beat them last year in the World Championship and I am sure we will peak in the medal rounds, although they have been the best team in the tournament so far."

In the day's other games, Spain won their Main Round group with a 35-32 victory against Slovenia to finish ahead of Croatia, who were held to a 24-24 draw by Hungary.

Germany, who needed to beat Poland to clinch a semi-final berth, crashed out after losing the rollercoaster 33-32 and the outcome allowed the Danes to squeeze into the last four.

Serbia, already assured of top spot in their group, suffered their first defeat of the tournament 22-20 to Macedonia whose 10,000 fans in the Belgrade Arena outnumbered the home supporters.

Reuters

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